RE: ality Pt. I

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Tue Jan 29 2002 - 10:23:21 GMT

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    > joedees@addall.comDate: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 00:03:45
    > RE: ality
    >> "Dace" <> <> alityDate: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 21:19:07 -0800
    >>> >> Henson:
    >>> >> >>Joe, this is one of those cases where if you take another viewpoint,
    >>> >> >>the problem might make more sense. Consider driving down a road.
    >>> >> >>From your viewpoint, *anything* could happen, rabbits run across the
    >>> >> >>road, an airplane land on the road ahead, etc. Now consider it from
    >>> >> >>the viewpoint of a person far overhead making a film. Now consider
    >>> >> >>it from the viewpoint of someone watching that film later. They will
    >>> >> >>see the chain of events where too much head wind and not filling the
    >>> >> >>tanks caused an aircraft to land on the road in front of your car.
    >>> >> >>
    >>> >> Dees:
    >>> >> >>OF COURSE everthing appears fron hindsight to be necessary, just
    >>> >> >as things appear in foresight to be contingent, but in the present cusp
    >>> >> >where causally effective decisions are made, neither assumption can
    >>> >> >be made, for the appearance/reality distinction collapses on this plane.
    >>> >> >>>>
    >>> >> Dace:
    >>> >> >Ah, but Joe, there's no such thing as time-- remember? There's only a
    >>> >> >static, four-dimensional space-time. "Before" and "after" are nothing
    >>> >> >more than "left" and "right" from the limited point of view of people
    >>> >> >trapped in the illusion of time.
    >>> >> >
    >>> >> >As long as you've conceded the reduction of real time to space-time,
    >>> >> >there's nothing you can say against determinism.
    >>> >> >
    >>> >> Wrong; spatiotemporality is quite real
    >>> >
    >>> >Of course. Everything that exists in space also exists in time. >From the
    >>> >point of view of physical objects, the two are totally intertwined. But
    >>> >time itself doesn't exist in space. It exists intrinsically, irreducibly.
    >>> >
    >>> Nope; spatiotemporality is a single irreduceable manifold.
    >>Spacetime is real insofar as everything spatial is also temporal. What's unreal is the notion that time has no existence apart from space, that time is static and given, like space, which renders past and future akin to left and right, except that, in our limited abilities (soon to be swept away by Science) we can only see what's to the left, while the right remains in a haze. But with sufficient technological know-how we will find ourselves behind the projector and then in front of the screen, with a button for fast-forward and another one for rewind. We'll see how it's all really concurrent and therefore determined. There's no possibility, once you reduce time to spacetime, that any event could be uncaused. Look around, from big bang to big crunch, it's all done, all simultaneous. How could it be otherwise if duration is illusory and time a fourth spatial dimension?
    > I have done this before, but you seem to have forgotten it, so I will do it again.
    > Phenomenology and genetic epistemology agree that spatiotemporality is constructed by the subject, but phenomenology has come to the conclusion that we construct them from a manifold that exists independent of our perception of it, as we construct a worldly object that is nevertheless actually there to be constructed, that we have artificially bifurcated a single perceptual spatiotemporality into 'space' and 'time', and, as the ideal limit of a completely grasped object must noncontradictorally contain all perspectives upon it in all perspectival modalities as aspects, so the ideal limit of a spacetime grasped omnipositionally must noncontradictorally contain each perspectival apprehension of it.
    > How can one prove that spacetime is singular? By means of thought experiments, in which, thomas kuhn asserts, "nature and conceptual apparatus are jointly implicated" (1977: 265). Our two thought experiments will be (a) to try to imagine a spaceless time, and (b) to attempt to imagine a timeless space.
    > (a) A spaceless time must be infinitesimal, that is, it must lack the three perceiveable spatial dimensions. But worldly and somatic consciousness, as well as imagination, are perspectival; the observe their objects from positions which are not identical with the positions of the objects. To perform such an observation is to establish two points, that of observer and that of observed, which define a line, a spatial dimension. The apodictically self-evident and necessary conclusion contradicts the assumed premise, therefore the premise is disproved by reductio ad absurdum. Q. E. D.
    > (b) A timeless space must be instantaneous, that is, it must lack duration. But the establishment of a spatial perspective requires presence to succeed absence, and the co-presence of the observer and the observed entails their simultaneity. Succession and simultaneity are temporal distinctions. Once again, the apodictically self-evident and necessary conclusion contradicts the assumed premise, therefore this premise, too, is disproved by reductio ad absurdum. Q. E. D. (again).
    > How did we come to bifurcate spacetime? The answer is to be found in the character of our perceptual modalities. All of them involve 'both space and time', but in vision thbe spatial aspect is dominant, while in audition the tempral aspect predominates; they utilize the spatiotemporal manifold in differing ways. We simply (and incorrectly) absolutized their respective dominances. Notice that in taction and proprioception, the most basic perceptual modes, both aspects of the manifold are equally represented. Since, according to Aron Gurwitsch, taction and propripoception are omnipresent to consciousness, the evidence for this contention has been perpetually 'with' us all along. edmund Husserl's theory of the "living present", found in his unpublished manuscripts by, among others, Tran Duc Thao, (1951: 227-231) is a theory of the "primordial Now which is posited as permanent" and which has as a fixed structure the flow of the future through it into the past. This !
    theory is generalizeable into a primordial and permanant perceptual here-Now through which spactiotemporality flows, carrying particular perceptions into and out of consciousness while the perceptual structure Remains-Here-Now.
    > Gurwitsch, in THE FIELD OF CONSCIOUSNESS, presents the tesis that there is a structure common to all perception and conception, the theme-thematic field-margin structure (1957: 56). Within a perceptual or conceptual field, there is always a theme, or focus of intention, surrounded by a thematic field, or context, which is in turn bounded by a margin, or fringe. In vision, this structure is primarily spation; in audition, it is mainly temporal. If our focus is a concept, its thematic field is composed of other concepts relevant to it. In MARGINAL CONSCIOUSNESS, Gurwitsch asserts the omnipresence of three orders of existence in at least marginal form. These are "(1) a certain segment of the stream of consciousness, (2) our embodies existence, and (3) a certain sector of our perceptual environment" (1985: xlv). The omnipresence of these three existential orders is said to "constitute an a priori condition of consciousness" and to be the foundation of Husserl's 'natu!
    ral attitude', which, prior to the phenomenological reduction, or epoche (the bracketing of the existence or nonexistence of a world grounding our perceptions), assumes an intentionality-independent existing world, for they incessantly provide evidence of the existence of this world to consciousness (1985: 56-59). Thus, phenomenology, in the last half century, was led inescapably from the placing in abeyance of the existence of a world grounding out perceptions to the proof of its existence by the very investigation of those perceptions, just as it is led inexorably from the assumption of independent space and time to the conclusion that the intention-independent spatiotemporal manifold is indeed as singular as is the perceptual one of ordinary experience, whe that experience is carefully attended to in a disciplined manner. This is why transcendental phenomenology died, and in its place we have existential-hermeneutic phenomenology.

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